Reggae Legends    Gregory Isaacs    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music


Reggae Legends    Gregory Isaacs    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
Moroccan Sahara

Search

WORLD MUSIC NEWS
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC Profiles
  Artist Features
  World Music Legends
  Reggae Legends
  African Legends
Live Music Events
  World Music Concerts
  World Music Festivals
  World Music Clubs
Global Lifestile
  Travel
  Food
  Film
reviews
  Books
  DVD
  Live Music
WorldMusicFeatures
WORLD MUSIC CD ReVIEW
  Africa
  Asia & Far East
  Australia & Oceania
  Celtic & Irish
  Electronica
  Europe
  Greater Latin America
  Jazz
  Middle East & North Africa
  New Age & Avant Garde
  North American
  Reggae & Caribbean
  South Asia
  World Fusion
WORLD MUSIC links
back issues
 

Deutsch
Franais
Espa ol
Italiano
Portuguese
Japanese
Chinese





Reggae Legends

Gregory Isaacs

Print Page
E-mail to Friend E-mail to Editor
Gregory Isaacs
By Tom Pryor

Published September 9, 2005

Despite his thin, sometimes strained voice, Gregory Isaacs is one of reggae’s all-time greatest singers, a master of subtle phrasing and sly innuendo who’s voiced some of the music’s best-known hits. A prolific recording artist and performer, Isaacs has penned classic roots anthems, as well as truly sappy lover’s rock, and his persona has always veered between these two poles of conscious Rastaman and put-upon loverman.

But no matter which side of Isaacs manifests itself onstage, he’s a riveting performer, driving crowds to a frenzy with the smallest of gestures. For this he’s been dubbed “The Cool Ruler” and is one of the best-loved favorites of Jamaican audiences, who have stuck loyally by the singer even when his turbulent personal life got in the way of the music.

          Isaacs recorded his first solo single, “Another Heartache,” in 1969. He scored his first big hits in 1973 with “All I Have Is Love” and “My Only Lover,” when his heartbreak-choked voice first connected with Kingston’s incurable romantics.

          Around this same time, Isaacs founded his African Museum label and began to record more “conscious” tracks. He addressed the social and economic inequalities that pressed down on Jamaica’s working class in songs like “Innocent People Cry,” “Thief A Man” and “Black A Kill Black.” The culmination of this direction was 1977’s classic Mr. Isaacs, a full-length album built around some of Channel One’s hardest rhythms. 

But Isaacs hadn’t forgotten about the ladies, either, and he churned out some of the smoothest lover’s rock favorites of the late ’70s on albums like Soon Forward. By the early ’80s, Isaacs had been signed and dropped by Virgin Records, and was now on the Mango label, for which he recorded Night Nurse in 1982. This album would provide Isaacs with some of his biggest international hits to date, and cement his status as reggae’s leading loverman.

Throughout the ’80s Isaacs would continue to score hits as dancehall went digital. But by the '90s, Isaacs’ cocaine abuse caught up with him, ravaging both his voice and his teeth. While today the “Cool Ruler” is clean, and continues to record and tour,  his voice is a shadow of what it once was.

Recommended Recordings

Mr. Isaacs (Blood and Fire)
Night Nurse (Mango)
Red Rose For Gregory (Ras)

 

RSS Feeds

ADVERTISING LINKS

Roland
Quincy Jones Eagle Rock
Lawson Sideblock
Globe Trekker 120 150
emusicsideblock

GoNomad
Roland

Contact us | Press Room | Contests | About Global Rhythm magazine | Advertise / Media Kit
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use
| Global Rhythm Contributors | Link to Us | Back Issues

Copyright © 2008 Zenbu Media. All rights reserved.

Powered by Ecomsolutions.net